Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/1007

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.
981
STRALSUND

The population, which was 306,775 in 1871 and 423,384 in 1881, had in 1901 reached a total of 572,249. As in former years, the increase is solely due to immigration, more especially of Chinese, though a considerable number of Tamils and other natives of India annually settle in the Straits Settlements. The total number of births registered in the colony during the year 1900 was 14,814, and the ratio per 1000 of the population during 1896, 1897 and 1898 respectively was 22.18, 20.82 and 21.57; while the number of registered deaths for the years1896-1900gave a ratio per 1000 of 42.21, 36.90, 30.43, 31.66 and 36.25 respectively, the number of deaths registered during 1900 being 23,385. The cause to which the excess of deaths over births is to be attributed is to be found in the fact that the Chinese and Indian population, which numbers 339, 083, or over 59% of the whole, is composed of 261,412 males and only 77,671 females, and a comparatively small number of the latter are married women and mothers of families. The male Europeans also outnumber the females by about two to one; and among the Malays and Eurasians, who alone have a fair proportion of both sexes, the infant mortality is always excessive, this being due to early marriages and other well-known causes. The number of immigrants landing in the various settlements during 1906 was: Singapore 176,587 Chinese; Penang 56,333 Chinese and 52,041 natives of India; and Malacca 598 Chinese. The total number of immigrants for 1906 was therefore 285,560, as against 39,136 emigrants, mostly Chinese returning to China. In 1867, the date of the transfer of the colony from the East India Company to the Crown, the total population was estimated at 283,384.

Finance.—The revenue of the colony in 1868 only amounted to $1,301,843. That for 1906 was $9,512,132, exclusive of $106,180 received on account of land sales. Of this sum $6,650,558 was derived from import duties on opium, wines and spirits, and licences to deal in these articles, $377,972 from land revenue, $592,962 from postal and telegraphic revenue, and $276,019 from port and harbour dues. The expenditure, which in 1868 amounted to $1,197,177, had risen in 1906 to $8,747,819. The total cost of the administrative establishments amounted to $4,450,791, of which $2,586,195 was on account of personal emoluments and $1,864,596 was on account of other charges. The military expenditure (the colony pays on this account 20% of its gross revenue to the Imperial government by way of military contribution) amounted in 1906 to $1,762,438. A sum of $578,025 was expended on upkeep and maintenance of existing public works, and $1,209,291 on new roads, streets, bridges and buildings.

The Dindings and Province Wellesley.—The various settlements of which the colony of the Straits Settlements is composed, and the protectorates named in this article, are all dealt with separately, except the Dindings and Province Wellesley. The former, which consists of some islands near the mouth of the Perak River and a small piece of territory on the adjoining mainland, belonged originally to Perak, and was ceded to the British government under the treaty of Pangkor in 1874. Hopes were entertained that its excellent natural harbour would prove to be valuable, but these have been doomed to disappointment, and the islands, which are sparsely inhabited and altogether unimportant both politically and financially, are now administered by the government of Perak.

Province Wellesley, which is situated on the mainland opposite to the island of Penang, was ceded to Great Britain by the sultan of Kedah in 1798. It marches with Perak on the south, but on the north and east with Kedah. The boundary with Kedah was rectified by treaty with Siam in 1867. It is administered by a district officer, with some assistants, who is responsible to the resident councillor of Penang. The country consists, for the most part, of fertile plain, thickly populated by Malays, and occupied in some parts by sugar-planters and others engaged in similar agricultural industries and employing Chinese and Tamil labour. About a tenth of the whole area is covered by low hills with thick jungle. Large quantities of rice are grown by the Malay inhabitants, and between October and February there is excellent snipe-shooting to be had in the paddy-fields. A railway from Batu Kawan, opposite to Penang, runs through Province Wellesley into Perak, and thence via Selangor and the Negri Sembilan to Malacca. There is also an extension via Muar, which is under the rule of the sultan of Johor, and through the last-named state to Johor Bharu, opposite the island of Singapore.

See Straits Settlements Blue Book, 1906 (Singapore, 1907); Straits Directory, 1908 (Singapore, 1908); Journal of the Straits branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (Singapore); Sir Frederick Weld and Sir William Maxwell, severally, on the Straits Settlements in the Journal of the Royal Colonial Institute (London, 1884 and 1892); Henry Norman, The Far East (London, 1894); Alleyne Ireland, The Far Eastern Tropics (London, 1904); Sir Frank Swettenham, British Malaya (London, 1906); The Life of Sir Stamford Raffles (London, 1856, 1898).  (H. Cl.) 


STRALSUND, a seaport of Germany, in the Prussian province of Pomerania, on the west side of the Strelasund, an arm of the Baltic, 1½m. wide, which separates the island of Rügen from the mainland, 135 m. by rail N. from Berlin and 45 m. N.W. of Rostock. Pop. (1905), 31,813, of whom more than a fourth reside in the Knieper, Tribseeser, Franken and other suburbs on the mainland. A steam raflway ferry connects it with the island railway on Rügen, and so with Sassnitz, whence a regular steamboat mail service affords communication with Trelleborg in Sweden. The situation of the town proper, on a small triangular islet only connected with the mainland by three moles and bridges at the angles, has always rendered its fortification comparatively easy, and. down to 1873 it was a fortress of the first rank. Since that year the ramparts have been levelled and their site occupied by public promenades and gardens. The defences of the place are now solely confined to the island of Danholm, known down to the 13th century as Strehla or Strehlo, lying in the Sound. The quaint architecture of the houses, many of which present their curious and handsome gables to the street, gives Stralsund an interesting and old-fashioned appearance. The four Gothic churches of St Nicholas,[1] St Mary, with a lofty steeple, St James and The Holy Ghost, and the fine medieval town hall, dating in its oldest part from 1306 and restored in 1882, are among the more striking buildings. The last houses the provincial antiquarian museum and the municipal library of 70,000 volumes. There is a fine monument commemorating the war of 1870-71, one (1859) to the local patriot Ferdinand von Schill, and another (1900) to the poet and patriot E. M. Arndt. Among the educational establishments of the place must be mentioned the classical school (Gymnasium), founded in 1560, and a school of navigation. The manufactures of Stralsund are more miscellaneous than extensive; they include machinery, playing cards, sugar, soap, cigars, gloves, furniture, paper, oil and beer. The trade is chiefly confined to the shipping of grain, fish, coal, malt and timber, with some cattle and wool, and to the import of coal and tar, but of late years it has declined, despite excellent wharf accommodation and a considerable depth of water (12-15 ft.). Stralsund entertains passenger-boat communications with Barth, Stettin, Rostock and Lübeck as well as with various small ports on the isle of Rügen.

Stralsund was founded in 1234, and, though several times destroyed, steadily prospered. It was one of the five Wendish towns whose alliance extorted from King Eric of Norway a favourable commercial treaty in 1284–1285; and in the 14th century it was second only to Lübeck in the Hanseatic League. Although under the sway of the dukes of Pomeiania, the city was able to maintain a marked degree of independence, which is still apparent in its municipal privileges. Its early Protestant sympathies placed it on the side of Sweden during the Thirty Years’ War, and in 1628 it successfully resisted a siege of eleven weeks by Wallenstein, who had sworn to take it "though it were chained to heaven." He was forced to retire with the loss of 12,000 men, and a yearly festival in the town still celebrates the occasion. After the peace of Westphalia Stralsund was ceded with the rest of Western Pomerania to Sweden; and for more than a century and a half it was exposed to attack and capture as the tête-de-pont of the Swedes in continental Europe. It was taken by France in 1807, and in 1815 it passed to Prussia. In 1809 it was the scene of the death of Ferdinand von Schill, in his gallant though ineffectual attempt to rouse his countrymen against the French invaders.

See Mohnike and Zober, Stralsundische Chroniken (Stralsund, 1833-1834); Israel, Die Stadt Stralsund (Leipzig, 1893); Baier, Stralsundische Geschichten (Stralsund, 1902); and T. Reishaus, Wallenstein und die Belagerung Stralsunds (Stralsund, 1887).

  1. A remarkable series of 14th-century frescoes, in perfect condition, were disclosed in 1909 by the removal of the whitewash which had for centuries covered the interior of this fine church.